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Diary of a Promiscuous Gamer: Glu gears up and an old dungeon opens

This guy will play anything that's free
Diary of a Promiscuous Gamer: Glu gears up and an old dungeon opens

As game executive Bing Gordon famously put it (about) in 2010, "This is the most promiscuous app audience in the history of mankind".

This is the weekly diary of a promiscuous gamer.

1. Clash of Clans (Supercell)
Destroyed some trees. Collected some gems.

2. Epic Empire (Pocket Gems)
As seems to happens with many such mid-core games, after a couple of months of fairly regular play, the experience runs out of puff. This is compounded by the game's item upgrade path, which often means that when you find an item you can evolve to a high level, when you equip it, your character stats are initially heavily reduced, meaning it's one step forward, two steps back.

Basically, this game doesn't give you enough to do, and what you do get to do is rather boring.

3. Dark District (Kabam)
Given that I'm yet to join an alliance, I'm working my way through the single-player missions, in which you defeat a base to unlock the next, but have to beat each base five time to complete your mastery of it.

4. Angry Birds Go! (Rovio)
For some reason, lots of people have taken a uncharitable position on Rovio's first proper free-to-play game. And while I can’t say it's the top of my to-play list, when I do play it, I always find it to be very well presented, with an excellent feel in terms of driving, and always plenty of missions to complete.

5. Adventure Town (Supersolid)
Currently my go-to game, there's always plenty to do in Adventure Town, which combines a FarmVille-style town simulation with RPG actions elements. There's also a robust mission and events system, and a real cute presentation style (see below).

6. Fightback (Chillingo)
I think it's hard to successfully combine beat-'em up gameplay with free-to-play mechanics. Fightback has very smooth animation but perhaps not enough variation in terms of what you actually do. Not sure how long I'll continue to play this one.

7. Dr. Newton (Brainbow)
The one issue I have with this brain-training game is how it integrates power-ups, and hence monetisation. Surely, to get a proper score - and/or improve my brain - I shouldn't be completing these tasks without using power-ups?

8. Eternity Warriors III (Glu Mobile)
While some will find the integration of F2P mechanics into a hack-and-slash game destabilising, at least in the early stages, Glu seems to have done a good job in terms of reigning in the pay-to-win temptation.

Graphically the game looks great and enough skill is required for players to feel like they are earning their progress. And for industry insiders, the game is also interesting in the way it combines RPG levelling up with F2P evolution/fusion mechanics from the card-collection genre, plus there's an online-style community hub, which helps in terms of guild visibility.

9. Galaxy on Fire: Alliances (Fishlabs)
Fishlab's mobile strategy game has a nice twist on genre, although in the early stages, I - at least - am somewhat confused by the system of moving units and resources between the various planets you control.

10. RoboCop (Glu Mobile)
Effectively a reworking of Glu's Frontline Commando shooter franchise, this movie tie-in uses a CSR Racing-style mission structure with a tiered structure of daily missions, challenges and campaigns based around taking down individual gang members.

The gameplay revolves around virtual twin-sticks controls, albeit from a fixed position (although in most levels, you can switch between a couple of static positions). Hence, there is a skill element, although the major progression element is unlocking upgrades for your weapons, new weapons and suit upgrades for your RoboCop.

11. Heroes of Honor (Nonstop Games)
Although it looks a bit basic, NonStop's take on mobile strategy demonstrates that you can do something a bit more hardcore without heading down the route of ultra-core games like Game of War: Fire Age.

There's a strong mission structure acting as a tutorial, and a nice, open system in terms of building and unit upgrades, plus a robust battle system.

Installed #1 Sky Adventures (Game Insight)
Conceptually, this is an odd game in which you're rebuilding the transport links on an exotic island, which is inhabited by a race of cat-people. Gameplay-wise, it's very time-resource focused. Will be interesting to see how it develops, especially in terms of the upgrade cycle as Game Insight titles have a tendency to be very hard currency oriented.

Installed #2 Dungeon Keeper (EA)
Causing some controversy for those dinosaurs who laud the original, this remake of the Bullfrog classic as F2P game in the style of Clash of Clans, actually works really well conceptually, both in terms of defending your dungeon and setting out your trolls to destroy others’ dungeons.

Throw in a solid tutorial and great presentation and humour, and it looks like a game I'm going to enjoy playing.

Installed #3 Glyph Quest (Alexander Trowers)
Yet to play

Uninstalled #1 Brave Frontier (gumi)
Never even played it.

Weekly recap
Installed: 3
Uninstalled: 1

In Play: 13
To Be Played: 1

Spending: $0
To-date 2014 'Life Time' Value: $3.99